Cosponsored by China Environment Forum, Environmental Change and Security Program and Africa Program.

China is the world’s largest producer of seafood. As overfishing and maritime territorial disputes pressure coastal waters, China has been expanding its fishing operations to the high seas and into the exclusive economic zones of other countries in places like Africa and Oceania. China’s distant water fishing vessels, outnumbering those of any other country, have been accused of vastly underreporting their catch. With 87 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, China’s role in the sustainable management of global fish stocks is at once an issue of enormous environmental, economic and security implications. China is not the only country involved in illegal, underreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is difficult to control and poses a major threat to the health of fish stocks and other ocean life.  

At this November 5th Wilson Center meeting, Tabitha Grace Mallory (Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program) will explore the drivers and impacts of China’s distant fishing fleets and Adam Baske (Pew Charitable Trusts Global Tuna Conservation Program) will discuss the difficulties in regulating multi-national and multi-species fisheries across large ocean areas. In particular, this meeting will focus on the challenges related to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing globally, as well as opportunities to engage China and other countries to help protect healthy oceans and sustainable fishing industries.  

Click here to read a research brief recently published by the China Environment Forum on China's distant fishing fleets.

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